Namco Bandai: BottleRocket firing a 'performance issue'

COO of publisher's North American operations defends decision to remove Splatterhouse dev from project.

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In February, Namco Bandai abruptly revealed that it had removed independent California studio BottleRocket Entertainment from development on Splatterhouse. That Namco Bandai's statement erred toward cordial, the move caught many by surprise, considering that the gory beat-'em-up was said to have been on track to wrap by March.

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This week, Namco Bandai further expounded on its decision to remove BottleRocket from the project, saying the move was the result of performance issues. "So, basically, the only reason why publishers pull the project out from the developer is when the developer isn't really meeting the requirements," Namco Bandai of America COO Makoto Iwai told Gamasutra. "So, unfortunately, this was the case."

"I have to be very careful so we don't make any direct comment on it because whatever we say, people will try to be on the developer side," he continued. "You know, 'The developer is an independent developer trying hard, and evil publishers are trying to get rid of the business by doing whatever they feel like.' That's not the case. I just want to be 100 percent clear. There was a performance issue."

Iwai offered no further comment on the situation and did not address speculation that the game's development had been shifted to Namco Bandai's internal studio responsible for Afro Samurai. The title had previously been expected to arrive sometime in 2009.

BottleRocket Entertainment had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.

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